Shire’s growth to be Gippsland’s second slowest

WELLINGTON Shire is tipped to have the second smallest population rise in Gippsland during the next 20 years.

According to the Gippsland Regional Growth Plan, Wellington’s population will rise from 43,920 in 2011 to 49.276 in 2031.

Of Gippsland’s six municipalities, only South Gippsland is expected to have a smaller population growth.

The Gippsland Regional Growth Plan, a long-term vision for managing growth, change and protecting liveability in the region, was launched last week by Planning Minister Matthew Guy.

The plan involved Bass Coast, Baw Baw, East Gippsland, Latrobe, South Gippsland and Wellington councils.

“For the first time Victoria has concurrent plans for the metropolitan area and all regions of our state. No other state in Australia has approached its long-term planning in such a comprehensive manner,” Mr Guy said.

“I recently announced a commitment of $12.4 million in the 2014-15 State Budget for Regional Victoria assisting the implementation of Regional Growth Plans and the continuation of the Rural Council Planning Flying Squad that plays such a valued role in assisting councils with major projects and developments and immediate statutory planning support.

“Gippsland will always play a vital role in Victoria’s growth and development and the Gippsland Regional Growth Plan Identifies opportunities to capitalise on the region’s strengths and protect its most valuable assets.”

For Sale, the report contains a recommendation to actively encourage and facilitate opportunities for major scale development.

The plan highlights potential residential, industrial and commercial areas previously included in Wellington Shire Council’s structure plan for Sale, Wurruk and Longford. Urban growth has been earmarked for the northern outskirts of Sale, with potential residential and industrial land around Wurruk.

According to the report, Sale will need around 1500 more households by 2041.

Maffra and Stratford are projected to absorb the majority of population growth in the area and continue to access services in Sale.

The report contains a recommendation to support proposals for medium scale growth in Maffra, Rosedale and Stratford consistent with local plans.

For Heyfield and Yarram, support is recommended for small scale residential, commercial and industrial development and change.

Other key features of the plan:

Anticipated population growth of almost 70,000 in the region;

Reinforcing the regional city role of Latrobe City networked to regional centres Warragul-Drouin, Sale, Bairnsdale, Wonthaggi and Leongatha;

Supporting jobs and investment through diversifying growth, taking advantage of Gippsland’s importance as a food bowl, tourism destination and energy hub as well as opportunities for aviation and defence sector employment and growing knowledge and service industries; and

Providing diverse and affordable housing for a growing population.

Mr Guy said bringing together planning for infrastructure and services across Gippsland’s main urban centres and nearby towns would mean better coordination on investment for jobs and access to services.

Eight regional growth plans, together with Plan Melbourne, the metropolitan planning strategy, provide a long-term vision for Victoria.

Mr Guy said the plans were an historic achievement bringing together state, local government and regional communities.